The needs of students have been repeatedly ignored by the Government throughout this pandemic, and students deserve better. That’s why we’ve launched this campaign, to lobby the University to give students a fair deal, which takes account of all the difficulties students have faced this year.
The feedback you have given us in the past week has shaped the list of demands which we are taking to the University. We want the University to respond to and implement the following measures, in order to adequately meet the needs of students.
There’s a list of actions you can take in support of this campaign below!
The university should implement a no detriment policy, as well as allow all students the chance for an uncapped resit on all exams and coursework.
All students should be offered extensions on dissertations and coursework, as many students (especially final year and placement students) are now unable to access books and other vital resources.
All students in Brookes owned accommodation should be given a 50% rent reduction in line with their second wave covid commitment. The University should work with third party halls providers to ensure that all students are given the same refund. The University should also use its power to lobby private landlords to offer students refunds and allow them to leave contracts with no financial penalties.
We’re calling on students to lobby the Government to reduce tuition fees for Home UG students from £9,250 to £3000, bringing fees in line with those charged by online Universities, as well as offering a comparable reduction in fees for International and PG students. The University should use its influence to lobby national Government to offer tuition fee refunds and reduce the cost of tuition.
The University should allow self-service at all of its libraries to allow students to access books and resources, as well as investing in greater e-book provision. Many students, for example final year students, are unable to complete dissertations without access to the library. Opening hours should be extended for as long as it is feasible and safe to do so. The University should also invest in wellbeing support and activities, to support the mental health of students in this third lockdown.
Healthcare students have been heroes during this pandemic - many have risked their lives to work with the NHS during the pandemic while receiving little or no pay. Our students on healthcare courses and other vital placements are being overworked - juggling placements and education. The University should offer a better package of support, to thank our healthcare students, and to ensure that they are given support in the form of a no detriment policy to protect their academic and professional achievements.
On Wed we hosted a town hall (open forum) with healthcare students and University leaders. Thanks to everyone who attended. This was useful for both parties: students got their questions answered and the University was made aware of problems and heard from students first-hand. You can find the key points here.
We are meeting with other Unions to discuss how we support students with lobbying national bodies.
On Thu the team attended Academic Covid (where decisions around academic experience are made) and presented our arguments for a no-detriment policy, uncapped resits and deadline extensions. These conversations are still going on and the officer team are fighting for these.
We are delighted that the University has listened to student feedback and acted swiftly to offer students in its own halls, who are not currently living there, a 50% rent refund in line with its second wave commitment.
This is a huge success! Thank you to everyone who joined our campaign.
The University is contacting all students to explain how the refund will work, so keep an eye on your emails for the full details. They'll also be sharing details of how you can apply to be released from your contract.
We're also really pleased to announce that Unite Students will be offering a 4-week 50% rent refund, starting from 18 Jan. Alongside this Unite will also be offering a 4-week free extension to the end of your tenancy if you wish. We are continuing lobbying for students in all third-party halls and private accommodation to receive a refund - as well as lobbying the University to place pressure on their third-party hall providers.
Last week we took our no detriment policy to the University's Major Incident Team meeting (this is the senior team responsible for managing the uni's response to the pandemic). On Thursday we will be discussing it with the Academic Covid team who are responsible for everything to do with your academic experience. We will be pushing to make sure safety nets are put in place to protect your grades, as well as calling for uncapped resits
The Union is hosting a Town Hall event on Wed 13 Jan, 11:00-12:00 for healthcare and social work students. This is an opportunity to question University leaders, as well as raise any concerns you currently have. If you can’t attend, we will make a recording available afterwards. Register now
We’re working hard to ensure that the University gives students a fair deal during this third lockdown. That’s why launched a petition to implement a no-detriment policy as an immediate priority. This petition also calls for the University to offer uncapped resits on all coursework and exams. You can now sign the petition on our website.
We are also calling for a refund for Brookes students who are living in Brookes or third party halls, or renting from private landlords. Last semester, the University listened to our demand to give students a 50% rent reduction during the second lockdown for all students living in University halls. The University has now offered over one million pounds in rent rebates for students in halls during the last lockdown. We want to see them follow the same policy this semester, now that students are being advised not to travel to their halls of residence in light of the third lockdown.